Thursday, April 18, 2013

Human Rhythms

Many of us use Chair rhythms to help younger students grasp the concept of sounds per beat.  Humans are the sounds- Chairs are the beats.  The kids have fun squeezing onto the chairs for multiple-sound beats and enjoy laying across for beats with 2, 3 or 4 sounds.

I LOVE this activity, but have shied away from it for awhile because of the size of my room.  The only chairs I keep in my room are one at my desk, and one for the adult aids who sometimes join us.  Any more chairs would take up more of the precious floor space in my room.  Really wanting to do this activity, this year, I decided to use my student dry erase lap boards laying on the floor and having students stand on them.  The activity works the same way- the boards are 1 beat each, and students are the sounds.  I found that the boards make it easier to do more complicated rhythms because students can more easily squeeze 4 on one board for 16th notes or stand on two at time for half notes or syncopation, yet they are still small enough to make the game fun.   Next time I do it I think I may borrow or buy rubber seat dots and use those because they won't slide around on the carpet as much.  

After I introduce this activity as a class, now that I do not need chairs, the students can also do the activity in teams around the room (as long as the rhythms don't have more sounds than kids on each team). It can be a contest, or just a way for students to work together and all get a chance to all participate at once.  They can also compose in this way- forming rhythms and then designating one team member to read it aloud to the class- or having the rest of the class read it.

This game is a great way to get the kids moving AND have them practicing rhythms at the same time- enjoy!
Discs I Want To Use
Dry Erase Boards I Currently Use

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